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NYT Update Breaks iPad App, Annoys Subscribers

timothy posted more than 2 years ago | from the hothouse-flower-in-the-walled-garden dept.

The Media 140

jbrodkin writes "The New York Times, which recently started charging iPad readers $20 a month, has a lot of angry digital subscribers after an update broke the NYTimes for iPad application. The update was designed to make it easier for readers to subscribe to the Times through iTunes (irony!) but instead left readers unable to access any articles. Worse, the Times didn't bother to fix the app over the long weekend or reply to users who complained on Twitter. It's not the first time developers have broken an iPad application with a poorly constructed update, but reader complaints noted that the size of the New York Times and the high price it charges make this gaffe particularly galling. Angry users have driven the app's rating down to less than two out of five stars."

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140 comments

Complain elsewhere (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#36661484)

This is simply not newsworthy.

Re:Complain elsewhere (1)

pallmall1 (882819) | more than 2 years ago | (#36662608)

This is simply not newsworthy.

That's why you won't ever read about this in the New York Times. At least that's the excuse they've using for years to cover up anything that makes them look bad or doesn't push their agenda.

New game for iPad (2)

countertrolling (1585477) | more than 2 years ago | (#36661486)

Angry Users... all chattering like a bunch of parakeets

Re:New game for iPad (1)

WrongSizeGlass (838941) | more than 2 years ago | (#36661674)

Angry Users... all chattering like a bunch of parakeets

And actually paying for the privilege.

Re:New game for iPad (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#36661906)

Angry Users... all chattering like a bunch of parakeets

And actually paying for the privilege.

Conclusion: what a bunch of douchebags!

Re:New game for iPad (2)

berashith (222128) | more than 2 years ago | (#36661988)

I would like this game... you can fling ipad owners from a catapult into a giant concrete paywall of NYT. I dont care if the wall crumbles or the users just go splat.

Re:New game for iPad (1)

Grand Facade (35180) | more than 2 years ago | (#36663502)

Ah, Yes! Life on the bleeding edge.......

I always let someone else try before I dive in (unless the update was forced).

$20 a month (4, Insightful)

Ceiynt (993620) | more than 2 years ago | (#36661490)

and they call MMO fees too expensive.

CmdrTaco (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#36661494)

His peenis is smaller than his dick.

Re:CmdrTaco (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#36661536)

His peenis is smaller than his dick.

That don't make no sense.

Re:CmdrTaco (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#36661622)

Why don't YOU tell me how it is done then?

Re:CmdrTaco (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#36662636)

Why don't YOU tell me how it is done then?

Well if you're going to mention dicks, you may as well up the ante and say NIGGERDICK.

Re:CmdrTaco (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#36661666)

Since it makes sense (due to your use of double negative) what's your complaint?

Fixing the issue isn't quite that easy. (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#36661510)

"Worse, the Times didn't bother to fix the app over the long weekend or reply to users who complained on Twitter"

They possibly did put a fix in place, but it will be sitting in apple's review queue for a week or more with a status of "Waiting For Review" before its actually reviewed, approved and able to go live.

Not responding to users is another story though.

Re:Fixing the issue isn't quite that easy. (1)

LordLimecat (1103839) | more than 2 years ago | (#36661522)

Guess who else tried not to work on the long weekend?

All those people complaining about their app not working. Wonder how many customers were asking for their help, and given the cold shoulder?

Re:Fixing the issue isn't quite that easy. (1)

dgatwood (11270) | more than 2 years ago | (#36662436)

And this, friends, is why you never ever release a major update to any software on a Friday, much less a Friday before a long holiday weekend.

If their engineers were so clueless as to choose that date, then they deserve to have to work over the weekend to fix it. And if they were so passive that they let their management demand that they release it on that day, they deserve to have to work over the weekend to fix it. Starting to see the pattern here?

Re:Fixing the issue isn't quite that easy. (1)

jimicus (737525) | more than 2 years ago | (#36662826)

And if they were so passive that they let their management demand that they release it on that day, they deserve to have to work over the weekend to fix it. Starting to see the pattern here?

It's a communications issue as much as anything.

Where you've got management that doesn't really understand what they're talking about, they often gauge how important something is by how worked up people get over it. When an engineer says "We shouldn't release something on a Friday immediately before a holiday weekend because if it goes wrong it'll ruin a lot of people's weekends", the manager may say "I'll take that chance. Do it."

When an engineer goes off on one about how releasing on a Friday is a Really Bad Idea, how it will result in chaos, destruction, dogs and cats living together - you'd be amazed the difference that makes.

Re:Fixing the issue isn't quite that easy. (3, Funny)

Thud457 (234763) | more than 2 years ago | (#36661764)

The review queue is probably in a dark basement, at the bottom of a set of broken stairs, in the bottom of a locked filing cabinet stuck in a disused lavatory with a sign on the door saying ' Beware of the Leopard '.

Re:Fixing the issue isn't quite that easy. (1)

Lennie (16154) | more than 2 years ago | (#36661954)

That is one of the reasons many just use hybrid apps with webtechnologies and use HTML5-offline-cache.

You don't update the app, just the part of the app that matters. And the developer decides when the update happends.

easy peasy

Re:Fixing the issue isn't quite that easy. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#36662138)

Wow, you're a total idiot that knows nothing about the app submission/review/release process. Having an important big-fix update from submission to available can take under 24 hours. Keep spreading the Apple-hate for your own personal reasons.

Re:Fixing the issue isn't quite that easy. (1)

thePowerOfGrayskull (905905) | more than 2 years ago | (#36663152)

Now call me kooky... but I am pretty sure that GP intended his post rhetorically, perhaps even aiming for a quick +5 funny. Nobody really intended to assault the Church, so take a breath and relax.

Re:Fixing the issue isn't quite that easy. (1)

CharlyFoxtrot (1607527) | more than 2 years ago | (#36662730)

You think the New York Times doesn't have an account manager at Apple who can help them expedite this kind of thing ? These are high profile, highly visible clients for Apple. They'll have someone a just phone call away at all times.

Re:Fixing the issue isn't quite that easy. (1)

danbuter (2019760) | more than 2 years ago | (#36663260)

If it was Microsoft, I would agree. Apple seems to be actively anti-business lately, so this might not be true.

Wow ... (2)

gstoddart (321705) | more than 2 years ago | (#36661516)

Well, it's one thing to have a crappy update. But having a crappy update that locks out the people you're charging $20/month ... well, that's pretty sad.

I wonder if the NYT fully realized what all is involved in maintaining software like this.

If I was paying $20/month, I'd be pissed at them if I was locked out for several days. Of course, I wouldn't pay that to access any site either.

Re:Wow ... (0)

poetmatt (793785) | more than 2 years ago | (#36661908)

let's get back to the REAL irony:

if they never tried to make this ridiculous paywall they'd have a: more money in their pockets and b: people wouldn't be blocked from crap that either they do or accidentally do.

which one do you think is better for business?

Re:Wow ... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#36662284)

Whatever you were trying to say did not come through well. Are you saying "not paying $20 a month for a paywalled subscription saves the consumer money" or are you saying "NYT would have more money if they didn't spend money to develop the paywall"? Also your item b doesn't make any sense at all; perhaps you didn't type what you meant there.

Re:Wow ... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#36663176)

I think he's trying to say that the paywall isn't actually profitable for the NYT - I'd be inclined to agree with such an assertion (if he is indeed making it) at first glance. Therefore, not having it means they wouldn't be losing money on it.

Re:Wow ... (1)

dmmiller2k (414630) | more than 2 years ago | (#36663096)

Many people get it without paying $20/month. Home Delivery Subscribers automatically get online access included free with the subscription price (which, BTW, was not raised when NYT put up the paywall). Android devices were unaffected by this change, BTW. Only the Apple Fanboys.

EAT SHIT AND DIE !! (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#36661520)

Ipad is Steve Elroy Jobs finest achievement and it breaks easier than you can say rumpleforeskin !!

It's always been bad (2)

Maury Markowitz (452832) | more than 2 years ago | (#36661578)

I would love to love the NYT app on my iPhone, but it's always been bad. The common lockups, CPU eating and random failures to update took way too long to fix. And now that it's pay, I love the way it downloads the headlines for articles I can't read before the ones I can.

Re:It's always been bad (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#36661924)

It's still crap. Not only that but it's tilt sensitivity is way too high. I tilt the phone a bit and I'll need to wait while the app struggles to rotate the article and then back again.

They need to get some better developers maybe? Who did they hire to do this? The NPR app is WAY better... and I'm sure they have less funding for such things.

Re:It's always been bad (1)

necro81 (917438) | more than 2 years ago | (#36662114)

I agree. The whole purpose of having a NYTimes app was to make accessing articles faster and look cleaner than via the website. (Yes, the NYT's motivation is also to enforce the paywall, but let's stick with my needs). But while I appreciate the articles showing up better than the website's rendering, that really is only of any use if I can actually get the app to load and show the articles. When the app takes forever to load, refresh its article listings, and display said articles, then it is of negative use to me.

So I stick with the website, which has the added bonus of making paywall circumvention a snap.

Re:It's always been bad (1)

Kelbear (870538) | more than 2 years ago | (#36662302)

The app is/was dreadful in all those respects. However, deleting and reinstalling clears up the horrible lag...at least for a while.

Now most of my irritation stems from swiping to move to the next article. It's horribly annoying because when you're reading with one hand, it will continually switch articles and forget where you were in the article!

Thumbs don't swipe straight up and down. They pivot from the joint. So of course it'll constantly hit the border and cause an article switch. No option to disable either.

Does anyone even read by just swiping to the next article? Who is this feature for? I would think that the vast majority of users read articles they're interested in, not whatever happens to be next in some arbitrary line. So why include this?

Re:It's always been bad (1)

opusbuddy (164089) | more than 2 years ago | (#36662682)

This has been and continues to be one of the worst apps in the App Store. It was broken before they started charging, stayed broken and now is broken worse, from what I hear. After wasted complaints to their Customer No-Service, editor, publisher, ombudsman and Apple powers that be, I finally gave up on the app and just read it in Safari on my iPad (I sign on with the id tied to our Sunday paper subscription). Since I can double-tap on the article, I can get rid of much more of the crappy advertising and annoyances than I could in the app. App is useless. Throw it away, like I did.

Ask apple for a refund (4, Informative)

juancn (596002) | more than 2 years ago | (#36661588)

Ask for a refund. Apple will grant it to you, but it will still charge the Times it's commission.

Re:Ask apple for a refund (1)

dmmiller2k (414630) | more than 2 years ago | (#36663150)

Then what? Pay for the app again later when the it's been fixed? Apple will get its commission twice.

Must Read READ ReAd... News.... (-1, Troll)

foxenoxen1 (2343432) | more than 2 years ago | (#36661612)

Why do we need to read news on the iPad?
Can't you buy a plain old newspaper? Look at the prices [aeonity.com] and decide...

Re:Must Read READ ReAd... News.... (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#36661638)

Nice Goatse dude.

Re:Must Read READ ReAd... News.... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#36661730)

Damnit, mod this guy up before GP gets any one else.

My eyes, dear god my eyes, I'd managed not to see that until today!

Thanks for the food.... (-1, Troll)

foxenoxen1 (2343432) | more than 2 years ago | (#36661788)

Funny:
"Parent is goatse. Dammit, and I've avoided it for a decade."
"1999 called they want their overused shock pictures back."
"Ur a faggot for posting that."
"Parent post is a goatsex picture. Do not follow. You're an asshole of the proportions in that picture."
"Link above is to goatse. Fuck you douchebag."
"After all these years, I finally fell for it. Just off to bleach my eyes.. thanks for that."
"Turn on TinyUrl previews. It saves lives."
"Ugh. Goatse. NSFW. Asshole (poster and picture, both)."
"Seriously ... new account to post that ... what a douche!"
"You're a fucking douchbag." - "That is the most accurate comment yet"
"Not gonna click it to find out, but I'd be surprised if parent's link wasn't goatse... It appears you would be correct sir. Why oh why do I always forget.."
"My word, what is wrong with your anus? I'd get that checked out."
"Damnit! nearly 15 years reading /. and I still fall in a goatse.cx trap !"
"It's because of Assholes like you that I can no longer trust URL shorteners"
"Didn't click it, but the magic 8-ball says goatse."
"Would advise against clicking the link in the troll post above. Especially if you're at work atm."
"Thanks, I'm reading slashdot in class like a good student and just got tubgirl'd."
"Watching second monitor, there was something wrong with the other screen. Control + w. Phew..."
"Hey family! Come look! They're opening the Google Talk client! Now, click here......" (sees goatse)
"I tried to post warnings about the goaste loving jerk yesterday but was modded into oblivion as a karma whore"
"Posting your picture online again?", "Really? Are you not tired of this yet?"
"High likelyhood of being a Goatse link. Proceed with caution"
(Me posts goatse link and tells it is SFW): "You mean NSFW asshole."
"Can you not afford normal entertainment?"
"This is grown up talk, 4chan is that way ->"
"One of these days, this asshole gonna have a hard drive crash and lose his precious list, consigning his life's work to oblivion. He'll probably kill himself."
"oops. goatse link - The AC speaks truth! (Well I didn't let it finish loading, but the browser was connecting to goatse.ru...)"

Hate:
"Death to all assholes - Let's put you first into the guillotine"
"You fucker" - "I had the same thought as you. What a fucking asshole. The link is nsfw."
"Motherfucker. Some of us are at work and don't want to have a drilled out anus pop up on their fucking screen. Christ."
"I hate your guts.", "WTF you fucking asshole.", "Fucking troll, do not click there"
"I hope you die in a fire before you are old enough to contaminate the gene pool."
"It would be more interesting if I had a piece of pipe and your face, in close proximity so I could smash your face beyond recognition,"
"Bravo teeny bopper. You're a really mature mother fucker (or do you prefer father fucking? Damn you homo erotic shittter)."
"Wait! I think I hear your mommy calling to give your tongue a good soap washing. And maybe she'll execute you too"
"I did not even bother to look, but this same idiot has been doing this for weeks now. Fuck off asshole."
"Asshole. literally. Goatse is so old. Grow up you fool."
"Asshole... Ginormous asshole, in fact."
"Ugh. Goatse. You asshole."
"Better than you, you arse bandit."
"You're a lowlife faggot piece of shit."
"Ah, a sheep troll. "Baaa! I post disgusting photos! Baaa!"

Dumbassess talking:
"Oh wow, retro-trolling. Soon we'll be back to page-widening, Steven King is dead and bell bottoms."
"Hey moron, try using different links."
"You fucking piece of shit!" , "You sorry piece of shit.", "You cunt.", "Fuck you." "Get fucked"
"What a retard..... enough said...."
"Yup, this is what your life amounted to. Posting goatse on Slashdot and collecting comment trophies."

Strong emotion:
""No ads? Kwel!" click... "WTF!! My eyes!!!! rip.... them.... OFF!!"
"FUCK.YOU.ASS.HOLE."
"i WAS eating lunch you ass!"
"Oh dear god my eyes. Haven't seen THAT awful image in a while."
"My eyes are burning... argh! Damn you!"
"MY EYES... dude i am at work here "S "
"WARNING: Don't click on the parent's link! Damn goatse! The first I experienced, no less.
"Oh goddammit. I didn't need that right before bed."
"Goatse warning! I'm still recovering."
"Please friends, I beg of you, do not click that link! Do not look at that image, whatever you do! It is a bad image! It is a goatse image."
"Damnit, mod this guy up before GP gets any one else. My eyes, dear god my eyes, I'd managed not to see that until today!"

Frustration:
"Can someone make a fucking goatse blocker firefox plugin please? This is pissing me off now."
"I am sick and tired of that crap on /. "
"Don't visit the link above, everyone. -sigh- Especially at work."
"Doh! One has to also recognize data urls. *sigh*"
"Damn! Mod this fucker to hell"
"*sigh* Goatse alert..."

Philosophy:
"Goatse trolls are getting better these days..."
"Why the sudden coordinated campaign for Goatse? Is someone making money off this?"
"You're right, this is the most coordinated troll campaign in a long time. Multiple accounts, multiple pages."
"Urgh...dammit, am I the only one thinking the goatse trolls are getting worse lately than they have been in the past five years?"
"Who found a way to monetize goatse at this late date? If we got half the effort of that campaign on real stuff we'd all have better software by now."
"Boy Goatsex is out in force today... - Every topic is littered with them..."
"You can't actually expect the Slashdot users to actually know enough not to respond to a goatse troll, right ?"
"Can we start banning people who post that hiding it behind a url shortening link like goo.gl?"
"How many times are you going to spam this link? Like we don't know where that goes......"

"Wow, all these years I managed to avoid seeing the goatse.cx guy, priding myself on my resilience to clicking on random image links from friends and trolls alike, taking comfort in the fact that I could identify a shock JPG based on a few lines of pixels while the holding the clipped window at the edge of my screen, and yet... now it's all for naught."

Admiration:
"Cool goatse link bro"
"Giggles. That made my day. Thank you."
"You are one dedicated troll."
"Well played, sir. Well played."
"A link that redirects to a page containing goatse? How clever of you!"
"Congrats. It's been a long time since I saw goatse."
"Thank you for that informational link"
"Interesting use of Data URLs for Goatse linking."
"Well played, sir. It's been a while since I've been Goatse'd"
"Looks very open to me... (congrats, 'twas a while ago I was goatsed the last time)"
"Nice Goatse dude"

Misc:
"ALERT ! goatse ya got me :("
"The GP's post is just to get you to click a link with the Goatse man's picture on it."
"WARNING! Above link is not something anyone wants to see!"
"That's somewhat clever, but some of us do know what base-64 encoding is."
"Nice. Asshole."
"Long time since I've been rickrolled with goatse!"
"Goatse URL - Haven't seen that guy in a while"
"The fuck is a goatse? it's some dude pulling his arse open."
"Could not someone at slashdot write a small script to blacklist url's that have been flagged troll? I'll do it if you pay me a slave wage..."
"Parent should be modded down. Link is NSFW and mentally scarring."
"Just post the damn url, i'm not going to click on a tinyurl link and get goatse'd or something.."
"Someone please mod this guy down... Don't click his link."
"Mod to -1, please. this guy is an 'asshole'.... (yes, you guessed it)"
"Don't click the link! Goatse wannabe."
"Danger, goatse"

Re:Thanks for the food.... (1)

spire3661 (1038968) | more than 2 years ago | (#36662186)

O neat, you quoted me! Now I have to ask, why do you do this? seriously whats the motivation?

because he eats urinal cakes? (1)

hxnwix (652290) | more than 2 years ago | (#36662962)

He likes his urinal cakes nice and sudsy, so he tries to piss us off.

Re:Must Read READ ReAd... News.... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#36662200)

haven't you seen the TV ad - so they can watch it instead of reading it - reading is too hard for the sheep

oh noes, the newspaper is broken (2)

alen (225700) | more than 2 years ago | (#36661632)

it was a 4 day weekend for a lot of people since they took friday off and probably went somewhere far away from work. can't fix an app if all the developers are gone

not like there aren't any other news apps in the app store. just ask for a refund from the NY Times for not getting access to a paid service, not a big tragedy

Re:oh noes, the newspaper is broken (4, Insightful)

Pope (17780) | more than 2 years ago | (#36661690)

That's the bigger WTF: who in their right might would push a huge update like this before such a huge holiday?

Re:oh noes, the newspaper is broken (1)

alen (225700) | more than 2 years ago | (#36661770)

the same geniuses who mortgaged out that cool skyscraper in NYC a few blocks from where i work, that's who

Re:oh noes, the newspaper is broken (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#36661892)

That's the bigger WTF: who in their right might would push a huge update like this before such a huge holiday?

Have you never worked anywhere?
Every goddamn marketing droid will promise that every new function the customer or boss have ever wished for will be available just before the holiday/vacation/whatever. There is something with being done with a milestone before going home before the weekend that they can't resist and none of them have a clue about testing things before they are put out in the real world.

Re:oh noes, the newspaper is broken (1)

delinear (991444) | more than 2 years ago | (#36662510)

Exactly this - we have a policy of no live deployments after 3pm and no live deployments on a friday whatsoever unless the client is willing to pay for out of hours support, yet we still get account managers promising clients exactly this at least once a fortnight (to which we usually tell them to go back and tell the client no, because we've been bitted too many times before). It's all well and good the client saying they're happy to accept the risks, but they have to then actually be willing to, y'know, accept the risks.

Re:oh noes, the newspaper is broken (1)

TheTrueScotsman (1191887) | more than 2 years ago | (#36663080)

That's why the smart companies get themselves a fancy European office and do deployments at 03:00 am Eastern with wide awake support engineers.

Re:oh noes, the newspaper is broken (3, Insightful)

Richard_at_work (517087) | more than 2 years ago | (#36661958)

Did they push it on the Thursday, or did they push it a week ago and Apple approved it on Thursday?

Re:oh noes, the newspaper is broken (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#36662956)

Doesn't matter. You can mark that you don't want the update to go live until say, July 05, 2011. Then if they had pushed it a week ago, no worries, it doesn't go live until after the holiday. If it gets approved really fast, and everyone is still around, you can push it live earlier. When you have paying customers, it seems pretty irresponsible to just let an untested update go live "whenever it's approved" right before a 3 or 4 day weekend.

Re:oh noes, the newspaper is broken - FIXED! (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#36662574)

Fix found here. [google.com]

Re:oh noes, the newspaper is broken (1)

sjpadbury (169729) | more than 2 years ago | (#36661718)

If everyone was going to go away for a long weekend, maybe that wasn't the best time to be releasing an update then, hmm?

Re:oh noes, the newspaper is broken (2)

drolli (522659) | more than 2 years ago | (#36661886)

Well. Pay your critical developers/administrators a premium, dont be a PITA if they need some holiday or some flexible worktime for their family trough the rest of the year, compensate them in a generous way for over hours, agree on a person beforehand (and compensate appropriatly) who is in standby or has his laptop with him/her, who has the knowledge and authority to rollback the app version, and you will be fine.

Oh... and: dont roll out new versions just before a holiday. A good time to roll out new versions/chance something is one day before the end of the holiday.

Re:oh noes, the newspaper is broken (1)

jank1887 (815982) | more than 2 years ago | (#36662332)

it's a newspaper. this should be familiar territory for them. My paper's not delivered one day, or the paper boy doesn't sleeve it and it rains, or he leaves it in the mud, I call the 800 number and they credit my account. Should be straightforward for everyone to get a credit for 4 days in July. 20 $/month *4/31 = $2.59 each. How many subscribers do they have?

Re:oh noes, the newspaper is broken (1)

RobertLTux (260313) | more than 2 years ago | (#36662696)

so you draw lots or something and have at least one developer ON STANDBY during the holiday.

Of course the complete MAROON that pushed this update over the 4th of july weekend should be either demoted to a safer job or promoted outside the day to day workflow.

Managers should know that people do have these portable computer things and they do operate outside and everything.

Apps! (2, Insightful)

Ptolom (2191478) | more than 2 years ago | (#36661698)

I can't stand all this app bullshit. They seem like websites, only you have to pay for them, they only work on one platform, and they all have they all have different interfaces and different ways of working. What's wrong with an RSS feed?

Re:Apps! (2)

foobsr (693224) | more than 2 years ago | (#36662096)

What's wrong with an RSS feed?

Even those accustomed to acronyms have difficulties to properly convert 'RSS' into a convenient sound, whereas even the dumbest ass can do so regards app.

CC.

Lemme get this right... (3, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#36661722)

People are actually paying $20 a month to read news they can't even consider trustworthy?

I can make stuff up, and spin whatever the AP and Reuters printed the day before. Can I have your $20/mo ?

Re:Lemme get this right... (3, Funny)

Tr3vin (1220548) | more than 2 years ago | (#36662346)

Your ideas are intriguing to me and I wish to subscribe to your newsletter.

The future niche of NYT (1)

mapkinase (958129) | more than 2 years ago | (#36661748)

If content of the site is not googleble from the site on the first page: the site is virtually non-existent.

To get to the first page,one needs to have many first readers for starters, and many secondary readers who read it from their favorite seond-tier site links.

Even assuming that NYT paywall did not affect much the number of first readers (which it actually did), it's obvious that second,etc-tier readers necessary to link it and rise the PageRank are non-existent.

NYT days as a mainstream source are counted. Their niche is the same size as Barron's - who remembers Barron's?

Re:The future niche of NYT (1)

dcw3 (649211) | more than 2 years ago | (#36661814)

Their niche is the same size as Barron's - who remembers Barron's?

I subscribed to them for years. Before instant access to financial data became available online, it was a great source of info...and they're still not bad: http://online.barrons.com/ [barrons.com]

Rating (2)

jginspace (678908) | more than 2 years ago | (#36661870)

> "Angry users have driven the app's rating down to less than two out of five stars."

Reminds me of of the Noscript - Adblock [slashdot.org] fiasco. Registered members at addons.mozilla.org all drove Noscript's rating down to one star but then Mozilla decided in their infinite wisdom that they should delete all those votes. If this campaign continues the same will happen here.

Re:Rating (1)

Elbereth (58257) | more than 2 years ago | (#36662446)

I am, to this day, surprised at how many people still advocate that malware piece of shit, NoScript. It should have been kicked off Mozilla's Addon website and Maone banned for life. Oh well.

But I'm sure you're right; the reviews will be removed and the votes discounted. This also happened when EA's Spore was vote bombed on Amazon, because of the heavy DRM. In the end, retailers (like Apple's App Store, Amazon, and Newegg) have no real incentive for actually allowing negative reviews to stand, and it surprises me whenever they don't censor the one star reviews. Mozilla, on the other hand, I had higher hopes for, and it saddens me to see that they acted like apologetics; but they, too, have more incentive to be permissive and soft, since they are dependent on people uploading add-ons, in order to stay relevant. If they ban people for minor infractions, the add-on authors will simply set up their own competing site, with more permissive rules.

In the grand scheme of things, it's not all that important whether a few loud mouths are censored or not, because every controversy eventually blows over, and the loud mouths can always complain elsewhere. What bothers me is the illusion of free speech that such sites maintain, by allowing some negative reviews to be posted. If you see 96% of 1000 people voted a product 4/5 or 5/5, you're much more likely to trust that rating, versus a rather suspicious 100% positive feedback rating. One rating indicates heavy censorship of negative feedback, while the other leaves some doubt as to whether censorship is occurring or not.

I don't support vote-bombing products on Amazon or Newegg, because a) it's stupid, b) it's usually done by rabid fanboys, and c) it doesn't give an actual, unbiased picture of how satisfied the owners are with their purchase, but the censorious reactions are somewhat annoying. It just goes to prove that you should never trust anyone who's got something to gain by lying to you -- what would seem to be common sense, but is usually treated as paranoid cynicism by most people.

Re:Rating (1)

delinear (991444) | more than 2 years ago | (#36662572)

I was just wondering about that, on the one hand you have a client who needs ratings to get subscribers and possibly has cash to spend to secure that, on the other hand you don't want to tarnish the integrity of your rating system. I expect the ratings here to be under some close scrutiny for the next few months, anything "odd" is likely to be flagged instantly - it'll be interesting to see how it plays out and whether NYT can weather the storm if they are being heavily voted down.

Weird (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#36661922)

I thought all Apple apps "just worked" shouldn't the updated have been vetted by Apple first or does the NYt get a free pass? or did the Apple update cause the fail - again then I thought all Apple apps just worked?

Re:Weird (1)

magarity (164372) | more than 2 years ago | (#36662104)

I thought all Apple apps "just worked" shouldn't the updated have been vetted by Apple first

Sure it did; there wasn't any problems caused to the phone or other apps. Oh, functionality within the one app? Is that Apple's care?

Re:Weird (1)

muffen (321442) | more than 2 years ago | (#36662188)

Oh, functionality within the one app? Is that Apple's care?

Considering the number of apps Apple has denied on the AppStore due to functionality within the one app, I'd say yes to your question.

Why the walled garden is so great (1)

Spykk (823586) | more than 2 years ago | (#36662048)

This just goes to show the problems allowing apps that have not been vetted by Apple to be installed on your device. If this had been an app for an iOS device this would never have happened.

What's that you say? This was an iOS device? I guess the garden's walls are for keeping users in rather than keeping bad software out.

Re:Why the walled garden is so great (1)

intheshelter (906917) | more than 2 years ago | (#36662472)

What's that you say? You're one more idiot with a myopic viewpoint who spouts the phrase "walled garden" to try and feel intelligent and superior? I guess all that intelligence has managed to lift you out of the "i want to be seen as cool" stage in your life?

Not many sysadmins on Slashdot, apparently (0)

93 Escort Wagon (326346) | more than 2 years ago | (#36662068)

All I see is a bunch of jokes (nothing wrong with that), and crapping on Apple for something they weren't involved in (de rigueur for Slashdot) - not one post about the stupidity of pushing an update out on a Friday.

Re:Not many sysadmins on Slashdot, apparently (1)

kvvbassboy (2010962) | more than 2 years ago | (#36662160)

Are you implying that there are sysadmins who moderate the comments on Slashdot? If so, you were wrong.

Re:Not many sysadmins on Slashdot, apparently (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#36662202)

All I see is a bunch of jokes (nothing wrong with that), and crapping on Apple for something they weren't involved in (de rigueur for Slashdot) - not one post about the stupidity of pushing an update out on a Friday.

How long did it sit in Apple's queue before they vetted it on Friday? I'm guessing NYT submitted it a few days prior. The real question is "why didn't NYT test it a little better first?". Also, depending on the update, the nature of the service, and the size of the IT team, a Friday update can be ideal since it allows you extra days to fix a problem while minimal numbers of users notice over the weekend.

Re:Not many sysadmins on Slashdot, apparently (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#36662204)

Posted by 93 Escort Wagon (326346) on Tuesday July 05, @12:03PM:

...not one post about the stupidity of pushing an update out on a Friday.

I see at least half a dozen posts made before yours that bring up this EXACT point. Either you're just slow or you don't know how to read. Neither one is flattering on you.

Re:Not many sysadmins on Slashdot, apparently (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#36662366)

All I see is a bunch of jokes (nothing wrong with that), and crapping on Apple for something they weren't involved in (de rigueur for Slashdot) - not one post about the stupidity of pushing an update out on a Friday.

Try reading? I saw several comments above yours that all reference the weekend/timing.

But the thing you have also failed to read is that updates have to be approved by Apple.... like this one. So Apple approved this failure, they are involved, but they also probably had to approve the fix, potentially delaying it. They also could have played a part in the timing, not approving hte update until right before the weekend, even if it was submitted a week ago.

Re:Not many sysadmins on Slashdot, apparently (1)

Artifex (18308) | more than 2 years ago | (#36663180)

Hmm, this makes me nostalgic for a game of "you must be new, here."

Oh, look, it's even Tuesday.

Hilariously Out Of Touch (3, Insightful)

rabtech (223758) | more than 2 years ago | (#36662272)

The NYT wouldn't dream of just shoving printed copies of the paper out the door without checking the plates, checking registration/color alignment, etc. Yet that same attention to detail is nowhere to be found when it comes to their digital app.

I'm just one guy writing small iOS apps in his spare time and I sure as hell don't release an update until I've installed in on every device I own and handed a beta to anyone I can wrangle into testing. Then when it goes live I immediately download and run it just to make sure everything is working.

The first rule of software: don't annoy your users.
The second rule of software: all crashes annoy your users.
The third rule of software: anything (eg updates) that goes from working to non-working really annoys your users.

Re:Hilariously Out Of Touch (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#36662734)

The first rule of software: don't annoy your users.
The second rule of software: all crashes annoy your users.
The third rule of software: anything (eg updates) that goes from working to non-working really annoys your users.

The zeroth rule of software: do not corrupt or lose your users' data.

At least there's no scope for the NYT app to do that. So we're really just talking about an annoyance here. A one-month subscription refund and everyone will be mollified.

Respond to Twitter? (0, Flamebait)

eepok (545733) | more than 2 years ago | (#36662298)

"Worse, the Times didn't bother to... reply to users who complained on Twitter. "

Oh lawdy lawd and heavens to Betsy! They didn't respond to Twitter complaints. How cruel this world!

Does it really matter if they didn't respond to Twitter complaints? It's not as though Twitter is an official communication channel. Did user email into customer service get bounced? Was customer service phone lines answered and promptly hung up?

If not, suck it up. It was a three-day weekend based on a national holiday. You should EXPECT services to be unavailable.

Lastly, I'm pretty sure most organizations that even bother with Twitter see its users as a bunch of functional fools facing their own individual corners and yelling into a broken microphones, anyway... just like the rest of us.

Re:Respond to Twitter? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#36662486)

Actually, Twitter is used by many companies as an official communication channel. It appears you're attacking twitter by automatically qualifying it as unofficial, childish and dumb. And it only makes you look like you're the latter two as well.

Re:Respond to Twitter? (2)

Overzeetop (214511) | more than 2 years ago | (#36662598)

If not, suck it up. It was a three-day weekend based on a national holiday. You should EXPECT services to be unavailable.

Perhaps, but in this case, you're paying for access to the material which is (a) created and distributed on said national holiday and (b) has a nominal 24 hour life span of relevance. You sure as hell should expect to be able to access your material.

As for complaints via Twitter, (FTFA) "The Times has kept readers up to date on mobile app problems thorugh its NYTimesMobile Twitter feed . In fact, an update also ruined the iPhone app last week, and the Times used its mobile Twitter feed to let readers know that a new version had been released to fix startup problems and to advise readers to remove and reinstall the app."

If you're getting official updates via twitter, it's a small leap of logic (even if false) to believe that the twitter feed might be one place to register a complaint.

Re:Respond to Twitter? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#36662974)

If not, suck it up. It was a three-day weekend based on a national holiday. You should EXPECT services to be unavailable.

Err, no. This depends on the type of service, granted, but I work in an environment where if we take a long weekend and critical systems go down then tens of millions of people lose power.

A customer service line for an olive oil of the month club being unavailable during a long weekend, sure. The NYT? Not unless one expects the entire planet to stop generating news in consideration of the U.S. holiday.

This is why apps suck (2)

LynnwoodRooster (966895) | more than 2 years ago | (#36662402)

If it was just web-based, you wouldn't tend to have these kinds of problems. For 99% of these "apps" it's just a built-in browser with some pre-defined bookmarks. Seriously - drop the "app" thing, NYT, and just focus on your website.

Re:This is why apps suck (1)

brooklynwry (1860438) | more than 2 years ago | (#36662512)

I've subscribed to the NYT for years. I read online. I've read the app. The app is hands-down a better experience than the website (plus you can take it on the subway/airplane/wilderness). I appreciate the sentiment of your comment, but anything that is improperly engineered can fail - regardless if it's an app or a website, that's besides the point. It's not by virtue of it being an "app" that it failed, it's by virtue of an error in the construction. An error in the code of an app will crash the app. An error in the code of a website will crash the website. Whether we choose to call one bit of code an app or another a website, neither is immune from human error.

Coincidence? (1)

brooklynwry (1860438) | more than 2 years ago | (#36662524)

In other news, the NYT has posted a smattering of job openings for iOS engineers in recent days. Coincidence??

iPad owners and NYT readers... (1)

landofcleve (1959610) | more than 2 years ago | (#36662584)

Are the same demographic, so the NYT can rudely bend them over a table, and they will come back for more while apologizing for all the mean things they said.

why would they respond on twitter? (1)

Osgeld (1900440) | more than 2 years ago | (#36663438)

Go to their website numbnuts! I have never figured out why people go to twitter to get help like this, here is a hint, there are millions of people shoutting into thin air as it is on twitter, the account your following is ran by a robot script, so if you happen to have good luck you might get heard by a computer that doesnt give a fuck anyway!

Are people really just that dumb?

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